Medicine: Compulsory Candor

The ad, which ran in the A.M.A. Journal and other professional publications last June, was similar to hundreds of other pitches for drugs. Aimed at the doctors who write prescriptions, Lederle Laboratories' illustrated three-page spread implied, among other things, that Minocin is superior to all other available tetracyclines and effective against a strain of staphylococcus bacteria. Yet a follow-up ad, which ran in the same journals nearly three months later, was strikingly different. It quoted a statement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the earlier claims were misleading. It also...

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